The Rolling Stones and Beach Boys can beat their 50th anniversaries chests all they want, but Motown's Four Tops will turn 60 in 2014.
And Abdul "Duke" Fakir, group's sole surviving founding member, promises there will be a celebration.
"We're working on a lot of projects for that," says Fakir, 77. "Sixty years is a milestone in this business. It shows commitment. It shows caring. It shows a love of what you're doing. It's something to really be proud of."
Fakir plans to mark the Four Tops' 60th with a memoir as well as a stage musical that may be cast via reality show and open in Las Vegas before becoming a touring show. "They're the stories of our lives and the Four Tops, basically," Fakir says of the projects, adding that with the musical "we're not trying to go to Broadway. If Broadway wants us, that's great, and I can guarantee you it's going to be good enough for that.
"But we just want to move it around for a year or two. We've heard from a lot of very good producers and writers that the story and he music are excellent. I think it should be a bombshell."
Before the 60th, meanwhile, the Tops are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the "Motown 25" TV special that brought the group back to Motown and also launched regular tours with Motown mates and friendly rivals the Temptations, with whom Fakir and the current Tops lineup will be sharing the stage this weekend.
"Yes, we started the Tops and Tempts right after that, and here we are still doing it," Fakir notes. "That takes up about 50 percent of our dates, and people are still loving us. On stage we ARE in competition, but we do it in fun. WE enjoy it, and people really get to see the Tops and Tempts at our best. If you fall down on the job one night you hear about it from the other guys -- in a fun way, but it still hurts.
"So every night you go out and do your darndest, 'cause you don't want to be the one who gets laughed at. y'know?"
The Four Tops and Temptations, with Larry Lee & Back in the Day, perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway at Schoenherr Road, Sterling Heights. Tickets are $31-$61 pavilion and $16 lawn. Call 586-268-9700 or visit www.freedomhill.net.
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